Our stuff that was shipped from Singapore was delivered on Friday. Yay! This means we now have everything that we own under one roof for the first time in over a year. Let me tell you, it feels damn good. In related news, I spent most of Sunday unsuccessfully trying to jam two kitchen’s worth of stuff (plus endless blog props) into our new place. I’m not complaining though, it’s a lovely problem to have :)
Let me tell you about these salt crusted potatoes, they were some of the best roasted potatoes that I’ve ever had. I am the only person that can attest to this though, as I ate all of them for lunch while Key was at work. I promised to make them again for him soon though.
A simple dough is made out of salt and flour and bound together with egg whites. The baby potatoes are wrapped in the dough and roasted, then you crack open the salt crust to reveal fluffy and sweet potatoes. The salt crust makes a little insulating barrier, so the potatoes cook evenly and quickly as the steam is trapped. They turn out fluffy and flavourful and with some smoky paprika butter dolloped on top, they make for a fantastic side dish. And don’t worry, they aren’t too salty, as you end up discarding the salt crust and the majority of the salt with it.
These would be great if you are feeding a lot of people, as the salt crust keeps the potatoes hot for a long time even after taking them out of the oven. This means you don’t have to worry as much about your timings, as they will stay hot for longer than a normal roast spud, while you finish off cooking everything else.
Make sure you use a fine salt for this. Buy a big cheap bag, I wouldn’t be using my more expensive sea salt flakes for this one.
You will need some small or baby potatoes. Try and use similar sizes so that they cook evenly.
The fresh rosemary will impart some flavour to the potatoes. It’s not mandatory though and you could also replace it with some thyme. If you do use it though, make sure you chop it up nice and finely.
Have you seen that crazy method of separating eggs? I dunno about it, I just find it easiest to do it by hand. Break the egg into your hand, cup the comparatively stronger yolk and let the runnier whites run off the edge of your hand into the bowl.
Mix the ingredients gently with a spoon and then bring the dough completely together using your hands.
Take golf ball sized amounts of the dough and use your hands to press down on it, flattening it into a rough disc shape. Place a potato into the centre of the disc and then wrap the dough completely around it.
Make sure the potatoes are completely enclosed, with no cracks. Pop those babies on a baking tray and roast away.
Meanwhile, make the smoky paprika butter by combining all of the ingredients and giving it a good season with some salt. Set it aside until you are ready to use it. Make sure it’s not fridge cold when serving though, otherwise it will be too hard to dot onto the spuds.
Roast for about half an hour, or until the salt crust is nice and golden brown. Look at that sneaky bit of peel trying to escape.
Crack open the crust to reveal and serve the potatoes, or, let everyone crack into their own for some playing-with-food fun. Discard the crust though, it’s just the cooking vessel, it’s not for eating.
Dot that butter on while the potatoes are still hot. There are not many things better in life than a roast spud with melty butter :)
Salt Crusted Potatoes with Smoky Paprika Butter
Ingredients – Serves 2-3 as a side dish
For the Potatoes
- 3 eggwhites
- 1/3 cup of fine salt
- 1⅔ cup of plain flour
- 1 tbs of finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 5-6 small, or baby, potatoes
For the Smoky Paprika Butter
- 50g of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tbs of finely chopped parsley leaves
- ½ tsp of ground smoky paprika
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggwhites, salt, flour and rosemary with 2 tbs of water. Stir until mostly combined and then use your hands to form it into a dough.
- Take golf ball sized amounts of the dough and use your hands to press down on it, flattening it into a disc shape. Place a potato in the centre and then wrap the dough around it so that it is completely enclosed with no cracks.
- Place the crusted potatoes onto the lined baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the salt crust turns a light golden brown on top.
- While the potatoes are roasting, make the butter by mixing all of the ingredients together and season with salt. Set aside, out of the fridge, until needed.
- To serve, crack the salt crust open and remove the potatoes, discarding the crust. Serve the potatoes hot, with dots of the butter on top, so that it melts over them.